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A11 opening looking set to bring Christmas cheer

PUBLISHED: 09:46 29 November 2014 | UPDATED: 19:25 29 November 2014

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Drivers and businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk could be getting an early Christmas present as speculation grows about the opening date of the fully dualled A11.

The opening of the 9.1 mile stretch of road between Thetford and the Fiveaways roundabout will take place on December 12, according to word among the business community in Thetford.

The tightly-guarded date was hinted at by an invitation to an event from the Highways Agency. It was then forwarded to members of the Thetford Business Forum, with an assumption that it was the opening date.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency refused to confirm the date, saying the invitation was to an event thanking stakeholders.

“As the A11 project reaches its final stages we have invited stakeholders and partners involved in the scheme to an event to formally thank them. Meanwhile, we are on target for scheme completion by the end of this year,” she said.

The December date would mean the Highways Agency and Balfour Beatty will have met their winter 2014 target completion date. Work began in January 2012.

The project is also expected to come in £1m under its £102m budget.

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, said: ‘This is great news - the A11 will protect jobs but also encourage growth and prove a real boost for tourism, education and employment not only in Thetford and Snetterton , but also the ripple effect further afield with the Brecks, Thetford Forest, Swaffham all benefitting – an excellent early Christmas present for Norfolk.”

Mike Brown, from Thetford Business Forum, said the opening of the road was just the beginning.

“It brings to an end many years of hard campaigning. The politicians have done their job, the contractors have done theirs, and now our work begins to deliver the economic benefits that this road has the potential to create,” he said.

A comprehensive 48-page pull-out supplement telling the story of the A11’s development will be released with the EDP on the day the road fully opens.

How well do you think the project has been run? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

13 comments

  • Any barrier is dangerous.

    Report this comment

    Parsnip

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • how many times will the police shut it after a biker is decapitated by the cheese wire safety !!! barriers?

    Report this comment

    angrychef

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Will be an excellent improvement once opened..shame that some people clearly don't appreciate there is still work going on and needs to be finished before the road can open properly. Are they supposed to work while people drive by at more than seventy mph?

    Report this comment

    Winger63

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Having said that, really looking forward to an easy run down the A11 into East Cambridgeshire and not using the A10 roller coaster along the Gt Ouse bank. Now there's a road which deserves some spending too.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Oli and Phylis are right -the A11 we had to beg for was still done on the cheap. Wait til the NDR gets going with its roundabouts instead of flyovers. The traffic flow on most of the A11 roundabouts seems to work when there are no roadworks, none of this nonsense of a few cars from one direction holding up the majority. But the NDR could be different, and at rush hours we could see queues to rival those at the disgraceful roundabout at Honingham or at roundabouts on the A10 between Cambridge and Ely.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Completely agree with Oli Warmer, Barton Mills to Cornwall 347 miles no roundabouts. Norwich ring road to Barton Mills 46 miles 7 roundabouts.

    Report this comment

    Phyllis Tyne

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • The Road could have been opened weeks ago. Recently it took and hour to travel down it and when we came to the Lakenheath Roundabout 7 men stood around while one man with a 2 inch paint brush was blacking over a couple of white lines. I suggest that there should be an enquiry as I suspect there is a financial motive behind the delay. Infuriating. Who is accountable?

    Report this comment

    Solomon

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • A47 and NDR now please.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Yarmouth certainly needs better road out to it but they'd also do well to replace the roundabouts on the A11 with flyovers. A Cambridge→Norwich journey requires slowing from 70 to around 10mpg: once at Mildenhall, at least three times Around Thetford and once at Attleborough. Given we're talking about thousands of road users every day, how much fuelenergy is wasted in accelerating after each roundabout? Now I mention fuel, I guess that's a negative incentive for Government. "Improve the road and get paid less!". Oh well.

    Report this comment

    Oli Warner

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Actually...and being a little pedantic....theirs'

    Report this comment

    Col

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Good news. But "the contractors have done their's" -- no ... "theirs"

    Report this comment

    Patrick

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • We were promised this road would be completed and open in October. When a road looks complete but remains cordoned off, the general public have a right to complain. However, as we've been waiting since June 1984 for the road, what's another month eh? It's only ever in Norfolk that this could happen. I wish sometimes I've never moved here with what goes on in this county. It beggars belief.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

  • Nice, apart from the fiveways roundabout and all the roundabouts at Thetford. But now it's on to the A47, let's get on with it.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

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